Njabulo Blom, a midfielder for Kaizer Chiefs, has left for St Louis City of the US Major League Soccer. Former Bafana Bafana defender Bradley Carnell will work with the 23-year-old as his head coach. The newly established team is being led by the former assistant of the Orlando Pirates. Carnel is not a newcomer to Major League Soccer (MLS), having previously worked for the New York Red Bulls, but he is familiar with the league.
“It’s a bittersweet departure because it’s no secret to Amakhosi faithful how highly we value Blom,” said Amakhosi sporting director Kaizer Motaung Jr.He is the epitome of what our KCYDA has been able to produce over the last couple of years. This is part of the plan for us to unearth talent of international standard. “More so, we want to ensure that we produce talent that can go out to explore opportunities abroad.It’s great to see a young man who grew up in the system now being afforded the opportunity to expand his horizons”.The midfielder joined Chiefs in 2019, and because his contract is up at the end of the current campaign, there has been much debate about his future.Blom has 11 league appearances this year and has been a constant for the Amakhosi.
Njabulo Blom’s transfer to the new Major League Soccer team caught everyone off guard because it was anticipated that the Soweto giants would keep him past the transfer window next month. The defensive midfielder, who was unable to come to terms on a new contract with Chiefs management, was a crucial member of Zwane’s team this season, making 13 appearances in all competitions.Blom was coached by Zwane in the club’s reserve squad and first team, and the 23-year-old received his best wishes and support for his success in the USA.
Coach Arthu Zwane reaction!
“I’ve known Njabulo since he was 15 years old. He’s a hard-working player, a focused player. Given the opportunity, he grabbed it with both hands,” Zwane told the club’s media department.We are glad for him that he is going to another level, where he believes he will be taking his game to another level. It’s high time we as a nation export our players. Njabulo got the opportunity and we wish him well. We know he is going to represent the brand very well in America with his new team,” he continued. More than anything we wish him well in his future endeavours. We know he is not going to let us down because he is a soldier of note.”
The bigger picture
Blom made an impression while playing for the Chiefs first squad thanks to his adaptability, dedication, tackling, and passing skills. Under past Amakhosi coaches Ernst Middendorp, Gavin Hunt, and Stuart Baxter, the former South Africa under-20 international excelled as a dedicated right-back.
However, Blom may have played some of his finest games after Zwane switched him to midfield, and his performances piqued City’s interest, who later signed him. He was nominated for the Most Promising Player award for the 2020–21 Nedbank Cup after also assisting Chiefs in winning the 2017–18 Multichoice Shield Cup.The talented athlete is scheduled to fly to the USA, where he will meet his new teammates. The 2023 MLS schedule will shortly be released, and the league is anticipated to begin play in February.
After moving from the Major Soccer League’s Kaizer Chiefs team to Njabulo Blom’s new club, St. Louis City SC, the Major Soccer League team has revealed the terms of his contract. Blom’s move from South Africa to the US, where he will play for the new team coached by Bradley Carnell, a former Kaizer Chiefs player.
“St. Louis CITY SC acquired Kaizer Chiefs F.C. midfielder Njabolu Blom, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa, via an undisclosed transfer fee, the club announced,” the MLS side said via a statement.“Blom signed a two-year contract that runs through the end of the 2024 MLS regular season with two option years in 2025 and 2026.”
Sporting Director Lutz Pfannenstiel added: “We are excited to bring a young South African national team player like Blom to our squad and St. Louis.“His ball-winning, super aggressive, warrior qualities as a central defensive midfielder match what we are looking for in our philosophy.Blom’s addition to our team is exactly the missing puzzle piece we needed.”
The missing puzzle
Blom has been referred to as the St. Louis team’s missing puzzle and a gift for the fans of the team. “He’s a missing puzzle piece, and to get that before Christmas, I would have been pleased to sign him in early January. But having it all wrapped up now is a present for ourselves and a present to our fans that we are now able to have our spine complete. Still, a few little things for us to do, but that was for us a massive, massive signing. His ball-winning, super-aggressive, warrior qualities as a central defensive midfielder match what we are looking for in our philosophy. Blom’s addition to our team is exactly the missing puzzle piece we needed.” Blom joins a select group of South African players in the MLS. Bongokuhle Hlongwane, a fellow Bafana player, plays for Minnesota United, while Katlego ‘Tsiki’ Ntsabeleng for FC Dallas.
The end of an argument
Even though Kaizer Chiefs will lose a star player, they will probably find some comfort in the fact that he will be moving abroad and not to a PSL competitor.After originally casting the club in a poor light, the Blom saga’s conclusion for the Glamour Boys may end up being a positive PR exercise.The Chiefs’ positive recommendation of the player contrasts sharply with the recent criticism of the player’s agent. Blom will also receive training from a former Glamour Boy, so it appears that the Chiefs are content to let him go. This move is significant for Blom, South African football, and, given that he just turned 23, might also benefit the national team.
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